Call for chapters: Theatre, Performance and the Fantastic - global perspectives

deadline for submissions: 
January 19, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
Ian Farnell, University of Warwick

Call for chapter proposals

Theatre, Performance and the Fantastic

Bloomsbury (Methuen Drama)

Edited by Ian Farnell

 Fantastic narratives proliferate throughout print and screen media, enjoying popular acclaim and academic attention. Intruding upon and departing from normative depictions of reality, these fictions challenge dominant socio-political orthodoxy by proposing alternative forms of agency and subjectivity. Yet while scholarship dedicated to the literary, cinematic and televisual fantastic continues to accumulate, its presence within contemporary theatre and performance remains largely unexplored. This is not only in spite of a wealth of recent productions which draw on fantastic imagery, but also the continued influence of the fantastic within our identities, behaviours and socio-political structures (from feminist witches and transhuman futures to hauntology and zombie economics).

Due to be published by Bloomsbury, Theatre, Performance and the Fantastic will providea ground-breaking examination of this rich yet underexamined field. Emerging from the 2023 conference “Performing the Fantastic in Contemporary Culture”, this edited collection defines its key terms broadly. “The fantastic” here connotes a variety of genres including science fiction, fantasy, gothic horror, superhero stories, folklore and fairy tales (amongst others). “Theatre” and “Performance”, meanwhile, provide space for apprehending the fantastic as both a dramatic tool and a sociocultural phenomenon. Current chapters already scheduled for inclusion in the collection encompass a variety of forms such as new writing, dance, devised theatre, fantasy tabletop gaming, site-specific performance, the ageing process, and robots.

To further expand the collection’s coverage of this growing field, and to recognise the diversity of cultures and scenarios within which the fantastic operates, chapters are specifically sought on the fantastic in non-British and non-Western contexts. This may include (but is by no means limited to):

-          scholars and practitioners whose work is centred on the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Australia;

-          indigenous and decolonial performance;

-          migrant performance;

-          performance by members of underrepresented communities.

Please send a proposal of 250 to 300 words plus 50-word author bio to The deadline for abstract submissions is January19th 2024, with deadline for draft chapters one year after confirmation of inclusion in the collection. Chapters will be between 6,000 and 8,000 words, with the upper limited to be determined.

Any questions can also be directed to the above address.